The 2nd Citizens’ Conference on Fluoride
St. Lawrence University, Canton, New York
July 28 – August 1, 2006
Statement from Ralph Nader
July 25, 2006
I would like to encourage both citizens and scientists to attend the Second Citizens’ Conference on Fluoride to be held in Canton, NY, from July 28 – August 1, 2006.
The decision to fluoridate is one that ultimately only the people in the jurisdiction can make. There is an old Roman adage – “whatever affects all should be decided by all.” Instead, in many instances the decision is taken from the people and made by administrators or city councils saturated with one-sided arguments and what has become a rigid scientific ideology by the U.S. Public Health Service.
On any public health issue, we have to keep the doors open to what Alfred North Whitehead once called “options for revision.” Foreclosing such options leads to little continuing scientific reaserch. The U.S. Public Health Service closed its mind over 50 years ago. Nonetheless, more scientists are opting for open minds and more data is forthcoming to warrant ground for a broader public re-examination.
Tooth decay is not contagious. Even the advocates of fluoridation have declared the substance relevant only to youngsters. So why is the entire drinking water supply fluoridated for the entire population with its variable risks and its variable doses and its variable intakes and the often ignored question of the total fluoride intake from all sources in a particular community? Why is ingestion for all preferable to topical applications for the few?
Attendance of scientists from the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and three of the National Research Council’s panel members, among others, makes the Fluoride Acrion Network’s conference more than ordinary. The NRC’s review of the EPA’s safe drinking water standards and the Harvard study on fluoridation and osteosarcoma this past May provide contemporary material for opening the public debate further and deeper.
The scientific method should reject the ossified ideology of fluoridation as an “acquired characteristic” to be intoned. It should be an entrenched proposition to be examined. May this conference do so with the open mind that is the essence of the scientific attitude and the underlying principles of democratic decision-making in the open.